Graphic Design Club draws out futures

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

For graduating seniors who are in the final stretch, creating a professional portfolio for employers may be one of the last things they want to deal with, but Eryn Pierce couldn’t be more excited.

Pierce, a double major in graphic design and biology, is a board member for the on-campus Graphic Design Club. This club provides students with graphic design majors the opportunity to be a part of weekly meetings, portfolio reviews, tips on students’ work, conferences, selling products created by the students and events and networking with design companies.

“We are our own chapter based off of Toledo’s chapter, which we are involved working with them to create design work for local businesses and downtown events,” Pierce said. “The club also gives us advice for our class projects we are currently working on.”

The Toledo chapter is a part of the national organization called AIGA, which is a professional association for design, that helps young graphic designers expand their knowledge in graphic design in a professional matter, Pierce said.

The group designs individual cards and sells buttons, coasters and canvas bags with their own design printed on them. The items are sold at events the group participates in such as Black Swamp Art Festival, Art Extravaganza and bake sales to make money for the group’s funding, said Ashley Lawson, president of the group.

“It’s definitely a great way to network and spread the word about the work we produce,” Lawson said. “The money we raise from selling our items and fundraising goes to conferences and workshop so we are able to go to a state to see well-known design companies.”

Each spring break, the group chooses a state to go to for a conference where the club members can network with professional graphic designers, which is one thing Lawson said gets her excited about her major.

“It’s just a really great experience to be a part of aside from just sitting in a classroom,” Lawson said. “I have talked to and worked with famous designers. Participating in these conferences gets you ready for the real world experience.”

The group has traveled to places such as Chicago and New York City where they have met and shown famous designers their work, Lawson said.

The conferences inspire and excite members about their career choice, Lawson said.

“It shows us hands on what kind of work our field is looking for so what we know what to be working on so when we graduate, our portfolio will be what employers are looking for,” Lawson said.

While traveling to and connecting with real world designers may inspire club members, so does the classroom.

“At the meetings [student members] can show and tell what they are working on in the classroom to receive feedback from everyone,” said Mel Giveins, club member. “It’s always nice to have fresh eyes look at what you are working on.”

Mock interviews are provided during the meetings for members’ portfolios to critique and provide feedback to better their portfolio.

“I wouldn’t be as prepared for the real world without being a part of this club,” Lawson said. “I definitely think it’s great to gain experience while making connections.”

The group meets every Monday at 5 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center computer lab. For more information you can contact the group at: [email protected]